One of the best ways to get to know someone – or reconnect with the one you love – is to go out to eat. And one of the best ways to get to know a city is to eat its food.
But in a world of overwhelming user-generated review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, where do you start? A walking food tour led by someone who knows the sights, smells and, most importantly, tastes of particular city’s food scene is a sure way to impress that special someone.
Most food tours showcase four or five local restaurants and eateries and don’t expect to stop at any chain restaurants. And while a food tour may seem like something for out-of-towners, locals can enjoy them too.
Tours can take you to parts of town that are sometimes off-the-beaten path or re-introduce you to a restaurant and its food. In addition to the food, lectures on history and architecture are also usually part of the tours. Food tours typically start around $49 per person.
Tips for Food Tour Date Success
1. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
Some food tours can last up to 3 hours and cover more than 2 miles, so it may be a good idea to leave the 5-inch heels at home.
2. Bring extra cash
The price of most tours includes drinks and food, but it’s a good idea to have some cash to tip the servers and bartenders at each stop.
3. Don’t be picky
A tour may take you out of your food comfort zone, but that’s a good thing. A stop at an exotic restaurant is the perfect chance to taste that spicy curry dish or that vegan pizza you’ve always been afraid to order.
4. Food allergy or dietary restrictions?
Tell the organizers up front what foods you can and can’t eat. The tour guides may be able to accommodate you and provide some substitutions.
Food Tours Near You
Savannah Taste Experience
Beautiful squares and even more beautiful houses are just a few sights to see during this tour. You should expect to try a variety of Savannah’s low country treats and local delicacies. On the Famous & Secret East Side Food Tour, guests stop at six spots, including Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, the oldest butcher shop in Savannah. Feature image credit: Savannah Taste Experience.
Orlando Food Tours
The food scene in Orlando has grown tremendously in the past five years and the local tour guides at Orlando Food Tours know it well. One of the most popular tours takes guests along the brick-lined streets of Winter Park, the picturesque foodie city just north of Orlando. Sanford Food Tours, about 20 minutes away, is equally as good and gives guests a glimpse of a quintessential old Florida town!
Cleveland rocks….and so does its food. This rust belt city on the banks of Lake Erie may not seem like a foodie destination, but the diverse ethnic populations that came to Cleveland in the early 20th century have shaped its food culture. Depending on which tour you choose, don’t be surprised to sample pierogies, pizza, falafel and beef jerky.
Twin Cities Food Tours
This tour company highlighting Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota describes itself as “a food tasting and cultural walking tour.” The Historic Northeast Walking Food Tour presented by Twin Cities Food Tours is a popular tour with stops at six eateries where guest can sample sausages, Neapolitan Pizza, traditional Greek desserts and gourmet cheeses.
Chicago Pizza Tours
Chicago has dozens of food tours, so it’s difficult to focus on just one. But Chicago Pizza Tours is a good start because, after all, who doesn’t like pizza? But unlike that thin stuff they call pizza in New York, the pies in Chicago are served thick with loads of cheese and sauce. During this tour, participants get to stop at some of the Windy City’s most famous pizza joints. And if you don’t like walking, Chicago Pizza Tours also provides a shuttle in a bus called Dough Force One.
Taste It Tours: Phoenix and Scottsdale
While Taste It Tours offers several food excursions around the Phoenix area, check out the one that started it all: the Historic Downtown Phoenix Food Tour. During the three-hour tour, you’ll get to visit some of the restaurants that made a culinary impact on downtown Phoenix, such as the Strand Urban Italian, Mole and Phoenix Public Market Café.
Austin Eats Food Tour
Austin Eats Food Tour offers a unique food tour that focuses on the city’s awesome food truck scene. Typically held on Saturdays, the Best of Austin Food Truck bus tour offers a diverse lineup of breakfast tacos, a wood-fired Italian sandwich and the “ultimate” Monte Cristo sandwich.